2022 Year In Review: Money Anxiety and a Mindtrash Makeover Part 2

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Shannon Mattern is discussing how to manage money anxiety and provide a makeover for a business in order to become more profitable. Full Text: profitable web designer EPISODE 25 2022 Year In Review: Money Anxiety and a Mindtrash Makeover Part 2 with Shannon Mattern

This week we’re wrapping part 2 of my 2022 year in review with a look at how I was my own biggest obstacle, including:

  • Why putting so much pressure on myself to replace my husband’s income actually backfired.
  • How I completely overhauled a side of my business that I wasn’t fully committed AND my branding to as a stress response.
  • How I “doomscrolled” my way into questioning my business without any evidence of a real problem.

Key lessons I’m taking away from 2022:

  • When the anxiety and sweaty palms kick in, that’s when it’s time to slow down and look at the big picture rather than get caught up in the details.
  • Prioritizing my mindset over hustle and numbers not only serves me better, but my students and business as a whole.
  • Focus on the things that actually bring joy and income, instead of worrying about what other people might think.

Episode Transcript

Shannon Mattern: Welcome to the Profitable Web Designer, a podcast for web designers who want to work less and make more money. I'm your host Shannon Mattern, founder of the Web Designer Academy where we've helped hundreds of web designers stop under charging, overworking and create profitable sustainable web design businesses.

Shannon Mattern: Hey there. Welcome back to the Profitable Web Designer Podcast and today's episode, episode 25, is part two of a two-part series that is my 2022 year in review. So if you haven't already listened to episode 24, definitely go listen to that one first where I talk about my mindset in 2022, all of the lessons that I unintentionally learned that I didn't even know I needed to learn and the results that my thinking created for me for better or for worse. Otherwise, this one won't make a whole lot of sense. So go back and listen to that. I'll wait. I'll be here when you get back. Okay, are you ready? You're all caught up. Okay, let's dive back in. So to pick up where we left off, I talked about the two mind trashy thoughts that I had in 2022 that caused me to overwork and spend way more money than I needed to and probably make a lot less money than I could have made otherwise.

Shannon Mattern: I had hired two amazing employees and started believing that I had to make all the money now to be able to pay them forever, otherwise, like they'd be out on the streets and their family would be homeless and very dramatic. I know and I had a belief that our current curriculum wasn't good enough even though I had hundreds of testimonials and it had empowered our students to create multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars, those thoughts caused me to overwork on things that were not revenue generating and spend money on things that honestly weren't revenue generating. So it, it's fascinating how our brains work and hindsight is just so, so valuable. And I talked about how one of the reasons that I didn't recognize my mind trashy thoughts for such a long time is because I stopped doing monthly income reports like I did on my old podcast and I basically ended all opportunities for me to actually like stop and reflect and recognize things that were going on because I didn't have that in place anymore to take time to do like an income reporter month in review.

Shannon Mattern: So what's going to happen going forward on this podcast is I might not be doing like numbers and revenue because like I said in the last podcast, it's my numbers and my revenue aren't necessarily relevant or aligned with a web design business providing one-on-one services. But I am absolutely going to reflect on previous months what happens and if it makes sense to share the numbers, absolutely I'll share the numbers I like. It's not that I don't want to be transparent about that. I've always been an open book, but only in the context of like what I'm sharing on the podcast. So I wanna pick back up with the 2022 year in review part two with a few more things that happened in 2022 that I did not examine or check my thoughts around. And one of those things was that my husband was laid off from his job and we had known this layoff was coming.

Shannon Mattern: He was given like a full 18 month if not two year notice before it actually happened. And long story short, he ran the office for a company that sent everyone to work from home permanently during the pandemic and they asked him to stay on to decommission their office building and maintain the property through the end of their lease. And I don't know if like he ended up staying on through the end of the lease, but that's neither here nor there. He got notice in March that he would no longer be working there come June 1st, 2022 and he got a bonus for staying on during that time and not getting another job. And you know, they told him like when the end comes you'll get a severance package and and all of that, which was amazing. Like he was very sad to leave that company cuz it was really an awesome company.

Shannon Mattern: But when we got the actual like this is the end notice, well it just added to my pile of mind trash. And here is the funny thing, if you have ever listened to my old podcast Pep Talks for Side Hustlers, I've talked about this a million times before, I have always wanted my business to make enough money so that I could pay myself enough to cover both of our salaries and so that he wouldn't have to work if he didn't want to because he doesn't have the flexible schedule or unlimited vacation that I have or historically he hasn't. And so you know when I talk about like, oh I created this business for freedom but like I basically run it with normal business hours because everybody else I know their schedule align like they have corporate jobs and they don't have unlimited vacation. And so the things that I do, while I have a lot of freedom and flexibility, like when I want to do things with my husband or some of my friends, like we are kind of bound by their corporate life.

Shannon Mattern: And so I always said like Oh I wish my husband didn't have to work. And he has always said that he has zero interest in not working. He likes what he does, he's a social guy, he likes to be around people, he likes to feel like he has a purpose and that he's part of something. And so when we got that notice, it was like six weeks into me hiring employees with like that. And in my mind the money that is so funny I I like as I'm reflecting on this in my mind the money that I chose to spend on employees in 2022 would have also been like the money that would like cover his salary and then some. And so when that happened and I had already decided to go ahead and hire and commit to these two employees and then he got that notice, I was like oh crap.

Shannon Mattern: And so now not only am I putting tons of pressure on myself to make sure that I can cover payroll, now I get into my mind that like oh I have to replace his salary too because what if he doesn't find a job And I had only planned to pay myself this much money this year and all the other money coming into my business is currently like planned out and spoken for. And so my mind starts spiraling on that but I don't even really realize it and he is all like, it's cool. Like no worries, I'm getting this longevity bonus and this severance I'm being paid basically through the end of 2022. I have plenty of time to find the right next thing. I'll absolutely find something else. Like there's no doubt in my mind that I'll find something else and I'm gonna take this 10 day road trip with my dad to visit my grandparents in Florida.

Shannon Mattern: Like his thoughts about the situation were so calm and empowering and while I totally trust him and believe in him and logically know it will all work out. The soundtrack that was running underneath my logical thoughts that I left completely unexamined and unchecked was that loop of like what if I run out of money and I can't pay my team and now what if my husband doesn't get a job and we can't pay our bills And that's what's going on underneath under the surface. And so what do I do? I do what I always do when I'm scared, I open up my laptop and I get to work and I went in to complete overdrive and I came up with a plan that in my mind would solve all my problems. So you heard me mention in episode 24 that I decided to end my last podcast Pep Talks for Side Hustlers because it was serving the DIYer side of my business, the ones that I was like teaching any online business owner like how to build their website, how to market themselves online.

Shannon Mattern: And that wasn't for web designers and it wasn't even to prepare web people to become a web designer, it was truly for like the health coach that needed a website, right? And I ended that podcast because I had made a decision in 2021 that I was gonna like wind down that side of the business and focus exclusively on the Web Designer Academy and Pep Talks for Side Hustlers was like no longer aligned with that mission but left on checks. I went into complete overdrive and I came up with a plan in my mind that would solve all the problems that really were only created in my brain , right? So at that point, the last time I had updated the Free Five Day Website Challenge was in 2020 and the reason was because I had planned to just retire it, but I had a lot of thoughts about retiring it.

Shannon Mattern: I had a lot of mixed feelings that I also left unexamined and just kind of like rolling around on my brain as unmade decision which unmade decisions are exhausting you guys. Like truly I should have just made a decision one way or the other and stuck by it. But it had been a couple years since I updated it and the moment I make that tutorial like it's a five day training that like walks you through like how to set up posting all the way to submitting your site to Google when it's complete and there's a lot of different tools involved and it never fails that the moment I release the most updated edition, somebody changes their whole interface and then my training is like out of date. So imagine two years of technology and system updates that basically start to render the five day website challenge not obsolete, but for somebody who really isn't techy, they require a lot of assistance, they get scared, they think something's gone wrong if their screen doesn't look like what my video looks like.

Shannon Mattern: So it, it requires like a lot to support when it starts to get out of date. And like I said, up until that moment I had made the decision to retire it but like let's be honest, I hadn't made the decision all the way or I would've done it. It was an unmade decision and I saw the writing on the wall at the time that I made this decision well that I like lied to myself that I had made the decision honestly cuz if the decision was made it wouldn't have been an option for me. But I, I was looking at the numbers and I was like okay, well I could work twice as hard on the Free Five Day Website Challenge, make a fifth of the money or I could work half as hard and make five times more of the money with the Web Designer Academy and really go all in on this niche that I felt like I resonated with so much because I had been there.

Shannon Mattern: I had been a freelance web designer and I tell mentors and people in masterminds that I was with that I didn't wanna maintain the five day anymore that my heart wasn't in it and they'd say Well doesn't it feed the Web Designer Academy? And I'm like, no, not really. It's like not for web designers to learn WordPress, it's for non-web designers to be able to build their site once and go on to run the business that they're running until they can like hire a web designer to do the next level for them. And then they'd say, well can't you sell it? And I'm like how? It's videos of me walking people through how to get their website set up. I'm not gonna sell videos of meat to someone else to like use how they want. And so like I said, until that moment that my husband got his final notice, I had been making the non-decision which was to do nothing until I was forced to do something but I had the, it was like taking mental energy from me.

Shannon Mattern: And so when we got the news that his job was ending, I was like okay, like that that it was ending for real this time , there's an actual like date that he is gonna be no longer working there. I was like okay, I know exactly what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna update the Free Five Day Website Challenge and I'm gonna update Site in a Snap and I'm gonna make it even easier and faster for people to install and instead of just having one Site in a Snap, I'm gonna have a Site in a Snap, a light and a Site in a Snap premium and I'm gonna build all five mix and match brand kits. So I had partnered with the graphic designer to do five different like looks for Site in a Snap. Now I'm gonna pre-build all five mix and match brand kits into Site in a Snap premium and I think there were six at that point.

Shannon Mattern: So that's seven websites I need to build for Site in a Snap plus a demo site for the Free Five Day Website Challenge plus redoing all the Free Five Day Website Challenge videos and getting that course and all of the funnels set up plus funnels for every digital product I've ever created with upsells and all of the things that I have learned over the years but never really took the time to integrate. And you know, my branding really has been bothering me for a while. I just don't feel like the Web Designer Academy reflects that program. It doesn't match the Shannon Matter branding either. And I don't really like that branding anymore, it's just never been right or felt good enough. So while I'm at it, I'm also gonna go ahead and rebrand the Web Designer Academy site, shannon mattern.com and our courses site and then I'll relaunch the five day website challenge and Site in a Snap.

Shannon Mattern: Maybe I'll even run ads to it cuz like all I need to do is make like six or seven grand a month to cover my husband's salary. When I read that back I literally am like, what was I thinking? What in the world was I thinking that is like a crazy insane amount of work and now I know what I was thinking but I didn't like I just thought like yep this is what I'm doing. And in hindsight I see that instead of noticing that I was having thoughts that were causing me to feel scared and truly examining those thoughts and asking myself is this really true? What else could be true? What are you making this mean and is that really true and does it make sense right now to do all of this work? Like how is this gonna help? And instead of that I'm like this is a problem and I'm gonna get to work.

Shannon Mattern: And honestly like at that point in time, because I like knew I wasn't gonna take the ti, like I could have convinced myself of anything at that point I could have convinced myself that all of that was absolutely necessary and all of those things. And it's my defense mechanism so that I don't have a free second to feel the fear and it's how I could try to control things, right? Like oh I can't control what's happening over here, like this is happening but I can control like try to make more money or like whatever it is. And if you think that sounded like a lot of work and that one person could not possibly get all of that done, well hi, I'm Shannon, nice to meet you. I overwork when I am scared and I got all of that done within like the span of a month and when I look back on it, I don't even know how it was possible.

Shannon Mattern: I mean listen, I am awesome at efficiency. I have honed my craft of web design over the years in terms of like systems and processes and all of the tips and the tricks to like make things go fast. But that was a wow huge amount of stuff to get done in the span of a month and it was my own personal survival mode, which from the outside looks super productive but also probably like I know Allie and Erica were like, what is she doing? Like what in the world is happening , but it looks productive from the outside but that drive is not coming from a good place. It's not sustainable and it's really not healthy. And not only do I overwork again, I work on things that are not going to produce the results that I want. So if you think about it, my fear was all about not having enough money and literally I should have just slowed down, kept my focus exclusively on enrolling new students in the Web Designer Academy and exclusively helping them get results.

Shannon Mattern: But instead I did all this other unnecessary stuff that I didn't need to do and I truly like spread myself way, way, way too thin. We had had some launch events for the Web Designer Academy plan that I kept moving and canceling and you know, I'm like oh okay we're gonna do this, you know, pricing training in May and then it was like, well I don't have time cuz I'm doing all of this stuff. And it's like had I just slowed down, dealt with it fear and the anxiety and the money anxiety and all the mine trash and just sat with it for a minute and like truly made some decisions, I know I wouldn't have like spent all that time working. So, but that's what I do and it's a pattern that I notice and it's something that I need to really check myself on.

Shannon Mattern: And even in 2022 at the end where I started to like recognize that I was doing this, I really enrolled my team and we've built a lot of trust but I I enrolled them to say hey like here's what we're doing and if you see me veering off course, I would invite you to lovingly like be a speed bump for me and question me and ask me why and make me justify it from a place of like non mind trash because I don't wanna create extra work for them that isn't revenue generating anyway either for them. So that was one big piece of mind trash that influenced a lot of the actions that I took in 2022 and I redid that website and like Site in a Snap was available, but I already told you like we didn't make that much money off of it because after doing it all, I didn't like do any kind of promotions or launches or partnerships or like run any ads to it, right?

Shannon Mattern: Like I just did it and then I went on to like the next thing that was going to keep me really busy . So it's just fascinating to reflect on that. And so if you can resonate with that, like those are the things that we work on in the Web Designer Academy with our students about how they are spending time on non-revenue generating activities, what's going under under underneath, what are all their thoughts about it. A lot of times there's some imposter syndrome going on, like I'm not good enough and I'm afraid my clients are gonna hire me and find out I'm a fraud and so therefore I can look like I'm working on my business by working on my website and doing all of these things. But in reality if that's what's keeping me safe so that I don't have to get another client or I don't have to raise my prices or whatever's going on so I can see it a mile away and other people, but I did not have the right mentors in place for me in 2022 to help me with, with what I really needed help with, which was my mindset honestly like that's not my mentor's responsibility to know that I need help with that.

Shannon Mattern: It's mine. So I'm not blaming them at all. I just know that I will never not have a mindset coach in my corner again in my business. So the last piece of mind trash that I placed on top of that giant pile of mine trash were thoughts about the economy. And unless you've been living under a rock in 2022, which I hope you have honestly because I wish I was, but during the pandemic I picked up a really bad habit of doom scrolling Apple News every morning while drinking my coffee. And I'm not a social media person, I don't watch TikTok unless my niece is over and she's showing me stuff and we're cracking up or I don't scroll Instagram or Facebook, but I scroll Apple News headlines and that habit has unfortunately persisted way longer than I would've liked it to. So here's me every morning scrolling Apple news and reading headlines, clicking on articles about business and the quote unquote looming recession.

Shannon Mattern: And when I think about this objectively , I'm like, okay, I know that the way media companies make money is the same way bloggers make money with ads, with clicks and attention. And that's why there are ads in every single article. And I'm a sucker for a good Buzzfeed top 30 things to make Travel more enjoyable article with a ton of affiliate links and ads in it like my Saved for Later in Amazon is insane you guys like I love putting that stuff in my cart and then just not buying it and then like sending it to my husband for like my Christmas list. But also there's just a ton of ads and I also logically know that negative fear-based articles psychologically get way more clicks and attention than positive ones. I mean I was a communications major in college, it's like headline writing 1 0 1. If you can create curiosity, awesome.

Shannon Mattern: But if you can create a fear response with a headline, you prime someone's primal brain to think that their safety and having the knowledge that clicking on that and reading it and knowing that what's in that article will will provide, right? And so that's why headlines are always like based on some sort of like doom and gloom because if you know, then you can like protect yourself, right? And that's not how that works. But truly that's just like the nature of the beast of the internet and how it makes money. And Apple News's algorithm is also designed to show you more of what you click on. So over time my feet got filled with articles about business in the economy and this looming recession that's quite literally been looming for the past two years if not like since right after people decided we weren't in one anymore and it's like, oh, when's the next one gonna happen?

Shannon Mattern: It's looming, it's coming, it's been coming for forever, right? Whatever that means. Anyway, I did a whole session in the web design business virtual retreat that we did in the end of December about how to run a web design business in an uncertain economy. So if you like bought your ticket for that and you didn't watch that one, like go watch it, it's so good because just teaches you how to think about how customers buy regardless of what the economy's doing in any economy. So anyway, I start conflating Web Designer Academy applicants telling me they can't afford to join our program and stories from other business owners saying that their sales are down from 2021 with all these thoughts I'm starting to like believe and integrate into my paradigm about the looming recession and the economy being bad and I don't even realize I'm doing it at the time.

Shannon Mattern: Like I mean you know what they say about hindsight. So you know how this is gonna go by. Now I go into problem solving mode for something that I haven't even critically thought about to decide if it's really a problem or you know, if it's affecting me or if I'm just having a thought error and I'm not in a coaching program that's gonna actually challenge my perception of the situation. I'm in a coaching program that's just going to believe me that this is a problem without questioning me on it and give me some strategies. So I create this stepping stone program for the Web Designer Academy from the belief that people can't afford our main program. So they need something cheaper to like get their foot in the door and like create some momentum, make some money, and then they'll upgrade into like our full program.

Shannon Mattern: And I will give myself some credit here and say that I went into this with the mindset of testing it out, but I did something that I totally advise against and I put everything together and built it before selling it for the first time. And I already had a lot of the content but I did have to create some new content and I had to spend a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to organize it and how I, I wanted it to like not compete with our main program and all of this stuff. So again, I spent time on something that was not a revenue generating activity. What would have been a revenue generating activity was to pre-sell it and tested out that way and the pre-sale would have generated revenue or not and told me whether or not to put this thing together and pursue it.

Shannon Mattern: But I didn't do that because of all of these fears and this belief that I had that people can't afford the Web Designer Academy so I need to give them something cheaper. Totally disregarding all of the evidence of all of the people that had bought the Web Designer Academy at the price that it was up until that point. Like it's fascinating what our brains do. Totally discounting that people were like just paying in full in this quote unquote bad economy or whatever. I was completely disregarding all of that because I had locked in on this idea that like for people that were telling me it was too expensive and that not that it was too expensive, that they couldn't afford it if I just offered them a cheaper option they would buy, right? And so my plan was for all the people who applied to the Web Designer Academy and then told me that they couldn't afford to join our pro, that they really wanted to join but they couldn't afford it, was to offer them this lower price stepping stone program that was like less than a quarter of a price than the full program.

Shannon Mattern: And I thought like this is so much of a no-brainer. There's no way they'd say no. And it was like a self-study with like the core things that you needed to get clients and what do you think happened when I offered this program to people, every single person that I made that offer to still told me that they couldn't afford it. And I was like, oh the economy must be really bad . Like instead of like I did have the inkling of the realization at that time that those people were actually not my ideal client and that they were likely never gonna join our program and that's okay. But I was also blaming the economy instead of putting responsibility on myself for attracting non-ideal clients for them applying like for how, what am I doing in my thought process in my marketing to speak to clients who aren't looking to really invest in anything right now?

Shannon Mattern: And I'm not saying that like our policy truly like we believe you when you tell us you can't afford it. We're not like like, oh you're just scared to spend money like we believe you. Like that's okay, but like what am I doing to speak to people who aren't in a place in their business yet to be able to afford to work with us? That's what I mean. Like I don't mean, oh I don't believe people that tell me that they don't have money. I absolutely believe them. I think it's so just disingenuous to be like, oh money objections aren't really money objections. They are just people who are scared. It's like no, they're probably people who are like, I'm making a decision between like paying for this program or you know, paying my bills, right? I don't believe that. But what I do believe is that my program is a $10,000 program and because of that people have to be at a certain place in their business for it to be financially and fiscally responsible for them to make that investment.

Shannon Mattern: And I am marketing, how am I, how are my thoughts about the economy? How are my thoughts about all of these things? How are my thoughts about my urgency to make money causing me to speak to people who aren't in the position in their business, aren't in the right place in their business to work with us? That's where I'm talking about what's my responsibility and what I'm talking about non-ideal clients. Like that's what I mean when I say that. So if you're someone who's listening to this and you're like, Shannon, I really do wanna join in, I really can't afford it, you will get to a place in your business where it does make financial sense for you to take the risk. You might not be there now and that's okay, but there are people who are there now and that's who we're ready to work with.

Shannon Mattern: So I still had an idea that like the reason people weren't buying like applicants, people who applied to watch our training weren't buying was because of the economy. Not because I had done something to call in non-ideal clients because when I did things to call in ideal clients, those people join in in a heartbeat and they pay in full and then they like, you know, I just did a episode 23 with Megan Harrington, like , she found me through a Facebook ad, paid in full, attended her orientation, attended her painful bonus call with me, never heard from her again until we follow up with her six months later and she's like, oh yeah, by the way, I made my investment back in two months and I have made four times more already this year than I did at all last year and there's still three and a half months left to go.

Shannon Mattern: So like our ideal clients are out there, they do exist and they aren't buying. I was just so focused on other things. So when I say I was spraying air freshener on a pile of mine trash, what I mean is that like 2022 is still an amazing year. My team is amazing. Our Web Designer Academy students continue to blow their own minds with their results. Our community or the W g A fam as we like to call it, is one of like the best group of humans on the planet. Everybody that joins our program, they're like, this Facebook group is not like any other Facebook group that I have ever been in ever on the internet. And I'm like, yeah, I know it's pretty awesome. I don't know how we created it, but we did. We launched this podcast, which I am so in love with, I did not realize how much I missed podcasting.

Shannon Mattern: I hosted an in-person retreat for our students that have been with us more than a year. That group is called Next Level. And I got to see people who I'd known for several years online in person. I looked forward to every single coaching call with our students. I always felt energized and refreshed after every single one. Even if I was like feeling some exhaustion and burnout from all the other overworking I was doing, the Web Designer Academy side of the business grew. I always made payroll, I paid all my taxes and expenses without going into debt, but looking at our revenue numbers and what I worked on in 2022 and what I spent my time on in 2022 and the projects that I did, oh my gosh, did I spend way more time and money than I needed to? Had I just calmed myself down, slowed down, really looked at my automatic thinking and the automatic actions I take as a result of my automatic thinking and questioned all of it.

Shannon Mattern: And that's exactly what I'm doing now. So in the midst of my money, anxiety with a racing heart and sweaty palms and the belief that I always get what I come for and I always make my money back and then some and that I'll do all the work and I will question exam and examine everything and ask for help along the way. I made a significant investment in December of 2022 to work with a new business coach whose entire approach centers around mindset. And actually at the time that I'm recording this, we're about to start a three day intensive to really start to analyze our business, make decisions, and really uncover, I'm so excited to uncover even more mind trash. That is what I'm so excited about for this program is the opportunity to just, I know I've only picked a few pieces of mine trash off of this pile, like there's more there, I just don't know what it is yet.

Shannon Mattern: And I'm so excited to see how much mine trash I can like become aware of over the next three days and like I'm so excited to get a P, like put a plan together to like get coached on it because just even the act of joining that program gave me the hindsight that I was able to use to uncover all of the stinking that created the result of a $9,000 profit in 2022 versus $138,000 profit in 2021. And I'm so glad I caught myself when I did because had I continued operating in 2023 the way I was in 2022, I don't know what would happen with my business. I really don't know. And it's like the work that we're like even doing in this program in the beginning is how I was able to uncover the thinking that led me to go into overworking overdrive instead of slowing down and repeating what worked over and over and over again and just having the ability to really examine the thinking that had like had me putting so much unnecessary pressure on myself that I was really unable to enjoy the times that I wasn't working.

Shannon Mattern: Like I was always thinking about what I should have been doing when I wasn't working and I don't wanna keep doing that. And I had set this in episode 24, but this is the exact same pattern that I did in 2018 the year that I quit my day job and said goodbye to a steady paycheck. And when I realized probably into like I didn't realize what I was doing probably until like halfway through 2019 that I was like, oh my gosh, it's my thoughts about money that are causing me to overwork and buy all these programs and want instant results and operate with such a sense of urgency and overwork and prioritize work over family and all of the things that I do when I feel money anxiety. When I realized what was driving that I did my own intentional work to examine my thoughts about money to explore them, to decide whether they weren't true.

Shannon Mattern: I read so many books and listen to so many podcasts to develop new thoughts about money and that's how I went on to create what I teach in the Web Designer Academy, which is like the money mindset or your pricing paradigm of like the expense mindset, the hybrid mindset and the investment mindset. And how I like realized, oh my gosh, I have an expense mindset. I started cultivating an investment mindset. I operated in the middle at a hybrid mindset, but what I didn't realize is that in 2022 I slipped back into an expense mindset but I didn't know it because they were new thoughts that I had never come across before. And so I didn't realize that like those thoughts would've fallen under the category of expense minded paradigm. So as they always say, like new levels, same devils like this is gonna always be the thing that's gonna come up for me and my job is to just notice it faster and the way that I'll notice it faster is to always have opportunities to notice it.

Shannon Mattern: So having a coach doing some sort of like reflection content, whether that's a podcast or whatever that ends up being talking to other people and letting them hear the things that I'm thinking and believing and and inviting them to like question me and question my beliefs, especially my team. Like if I'm like, oh I wanna do this, what do you think? Not expecting them to be like, oh I think that's a great idea. Like really expecting them to be like why do you think you need to do that? What are your thoughts about that? What's going on underneath? Like letting us have the space to explore that. So the work that I did to clean up my money mindset the first time led me from like making a hundred thousand dollars or 150 in my business to 500 in my business with $130,000 left over after paying myself a salary.

Shannon Mattern: So in 2022, a new set of circumstances reactivated my old money anxiety thoughts and I reacted to it in the same way, didn't realize it until several months into it, but now I know it happened. Once I thought I solved it, it happened again. I'm in the midst of solving it and it will happen again and it will happen again. But the goal is to notice it sooner and course correct sooner. So I enrolled in my new coaching program and with what I was able to integrate from what I learned during the enrollment process and the orientation before the programs really even started, I've been able to integrate a lot of that into our final open enrollment of 2022. I did some super intentional deep work to let go of the fear of the urgency of my money anxiety, really focus on the clients who our program is like the best fit for like where are they in their business that they come in to our program and they are just like ready for all of it and the transformation that we've empowered them to create over and over again and just really leaned into that which resulted in us not only filling our available spots with like the most incredible slate of new students, instead of people saying like, no I can't afford it.

Shannon Mattern: They were saying I would love to join now but I can't make it work just yet. Please keep me on the list and I'm in for the next round. So that is the difference between the nos I was hearing before and the no I'm hearing now, it's like I'm hearing a a yes next time instead of a no never, which is fascinating and it's all because I changed how I was thinking which changed how I was communicating about the program and created that shift. And that's what we help our web designers do in their business every single day. Like we have a whole module where we help you change your entire thinking about you and your business and a website and the value of the website and like you come in with this set of beliefs that have you undercharging and overworking and then you come through on the other side being like, oh my gosh, like this is so valuable, this is so worth it.

Shannon Mattern: And yes, I'm scared to like charge that much but I understand why and I'm willing to do it and then we help you through that. So what I am most excited about though is that like I'm bringing my new awareness and upleveled thinking directly to our Web Designer Academy students through our live strategy calls. So we are able to get to the heart of that fear, that stuckness, that overwhelm, that imposter syndrome, that money, anxiety, the fear of success, the fear of failure in a really powerful way that benefits every single person in the program. Whether they're going through it at that moment or not, they've experienced it in the past or they're coming up against it in the future. And so like I've said throughout these two episodes, I am able to see it in our Web Designer Academy students like a mile. Like it's so funny how we're blind to our own stuff because I think sometimes my brain is trying to tell me like, hey this person is getting coached on this and you're coaching them on it in this way because you need to learn this right now too, Shannon, like hello, pay attention.

Shannon Mattern: And so I can coach other people on it and I think my brain is just trying to like something's tapping me on the shoulder to be like, hey, you teach what you need to learn too. But it's, we're already like blowing minds already in January of, of 2022 with the coaching that people are getting and what they're able to create. So the other way we're implementing like this new, I don't know mind like mind trash awareness is like a policy in our business. Like I, I just started thinking about this as I'm doing this episode. It's like before we make any decision we need to like clear the decision of any mind trash. Like there's no decision that's gonna be made without a process to examine mind trash around that decision. So at the end of 2022 we had a team meeting and I asked Allie and Erica to look at their individual roles and what we do on a whole as a company and make a keep start stop list.

Shannon Mattern: And I was like, if this was your business and you got to make all the decisions, what would you stop doing? What would you keep and what would you start? And we had a ginormous stop list. I mean it was crazy long. Our start list was super short and our keep list was like solid. And so that's what we're going into 2023 with. And the first thing on our stop list was the Free Five Day Website Challenge Site in a Snap and all related digital products. And it has been a stop that is long overdue. I resuscitated it in 2022 for all the wrong reasons and it was also the one that I was most afraid of doing because deep down underneath I was really scared to disappoint people and that's why I let it be a non-decision for as long as I did. But this time, instead of believing my thought that if I retire this side of my business, people will be disappointed in me and I could lose everything like that disappointment will lead to me losing everything.

Shannon Mattern: Like that was the true fear of it. I really examined it, questioned it, decided what I wanted to believe instead and what I wanted to make people being disappointed in me mean and come to a place where I can allow people to be disappointed in me without feeling the need to change their mind. And only when I came to that place did I start to do the work of closing down the program. Was I sad and nervous to tell our community support VA that her contract was ending? Yes, that sucked and I didn't wanna feel good about it, but I did it anyway. Did I delay sending the announcement to our customers that things were closing because I was nervous? Yes, my hands were clammy and my heart was racing when I did it. Were people disappointed? Yes they were. But way more people sent me the most amazing notes of gratitude and we didn't try to change the minds of people who were disappointed.

Shannon Mattern: I didn't try to make them not be upset at me. I didn't need them to not be upset at me. I was able to allow them to feel their feelings and understand like of course they're disappointed and I get it and this is still the best thing for me and my business and I'm not gonna try to make them feel better about it. And so that was a huge thing for me. And the five day was the big thing on our stop list that required some work. The rest of it's basically like, nope, we're not doing that anymore. And remember that's on our stop list, it's a no-go. So if I try to bring it up again like Ally and Erica get to be like, oh hey, that's on our stop list. What's the mind trash going on about why you're bringing that up? And even if you have a really great reason for justifying it, we get to still explore that even more.

Shannon Mattern: You need to take it to one of your coaches and be like, Hey, I said I wasn't gonna do this. Here's why I want to and let them help me uncover why I'm going back on a decision that I made. So what's on our keep list for 2023? Well this podcast for one, it's been so well received. I love doing it. It helps me call in our ideal clients, get people who are not quite ready, ready. And we're also keeping our Web Designer Academy curriculum and the format of the program as is. And I no longer get to think that our program isn't good enough. It has empowered our students to collectively create hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars together and increase their revenue massively individually than what they were doing before working with us. Our program is fantastic and it gets to stay the way that it is.

Shannon Mattern: We're also keeping our team as is. So I had plans last year in the midst of all the money anxiety to hire a client enrollment specialist, you know, to help me with like the sales required to create those 15 new students a month that I was talking about in the last episode. We don't need to enroll that many students every single month and we're not going to at least in 2023 because I get to practice sufficiency and calm and not urgency and all of those things. And our client success coordinator, Erica, helps me support our Web Designer Academy students to make back their enrollment and create a return on their investment in our program. And Allie helps me keep everything running behind the scenes and between the three of us, we have exactly what we need to run the business and we're keeping everything we love and that we know works not only for us and for our livelihoods and for our mental health, but our students and their lives and their goals.

Shannon Mattern: So we're not changing any of that, that's what's been working. What hasn't been working is my thoughts and that's easy to change if you actually like sit down and take time to change it. So we have our keep, we have our stop on our start list. This was from Allie and Erica. They're like, you need to start delegating more stuff to us and stop doing it yourself or doing it before we can do it. And I had to be really honest with them about everything I just shared with you guys about why I overwork and why I don't delegate naturally. And it has nothing to do with, oh I don't think they'll do it as good as me, so I might as well do it. It's because, oh how am I gonna keep my mind distracted if I'm not working and ask them to just check me when they notice I'm doing it?

Shannon Mattern: Which takes a lot of trust on their part to agree to check the person that ultimately decides whether or not they are employed here. And we definitely have built that trust, like I am not the kind of person that would say that I want that and then like be mad that they gave me that feedback. And the other thing on the start list was hosting the Simply Profitable Designer Summit. Like I'd spoken at it and sponsored it in the past. And one of the things I did in 2022 from a really clean non mine trashy place was acquire the summit from the Pryor host Kristen Miller who's either gonna sell it or retire it. I didn't wanna see it to end see it end. It was such a successful event. I met so many of our future clients there. And so we made a deal for me to acquire it.

Shannon Mattern: And at the time of this recording planning is well underway and we will have more details for how you can get your free ticket in future episodes of the show and on our email list. So make sure you're over https://webdesigneracademy.com and you're on our email list to make sure you get notified when we have tickets available for the summit. So the final thing on the the start list was moving the Web Designer Academy to a wait list model instead of an evergreen open enrollment model. And this is a really interesting decision. I think there was some mind trash attached to how I was running it before and we're gonna test out a new way to to run this. So for the past two years, the way Web Designer Academy enrollment worked is that all of our marketing centered around inviting people to apply to work with us and they'd fill out a really simple two question application telling us about their current business and their goals.

Shannon Mattern: And I would review those applications and I'd look at their website and their Instagram and like their packages and their pricing and if I could see like what they were currently doing that like our strategies could fix for them, I would invite them to watch a prerecorded training that talked about all of our strategies, how they work to ha the results our students were able to create working with us. And then in that video I'd invite them to join us, I'd give them all the details about the program, the price, and then they'd have a 10 day window to take us up on our invitation or not. And in those 10 days they would get some marketing emails, I would reach out to them directly to see what they were thinking, answer their questions and really just guide them to whatever decision they were gonna make.

Shannon Mattern: So basically anyone could apply if they were approved, if I thought we could help them, I would like make them a video and then and send them to watch this training and then within that 10 day window they could join or not. And then a couple times a year in March and December I'd do a live enrollment event where all accepted applicants could come and we'd also have new people applying for the live training. And the only difference would be people would be watching a live training with me talking about our strategies in the program versus something pre-recorded and there would be like a hard deadline for people to enroll and that whole like apply for the Web Designer Academy and I'll give you like if I like your application, if I think we can help you, I'll invite you to watch this training and within that training there's an invitation for you to join us.

Shannon Mattern: It worked until it stopped working and it didn't stop working because it stopped working. It's because my thoughts changed, right? We'd meet our enrollment goal for the live event, we'd get one or two evergreen enrollments a month after that and it was good enough and it was perfect until my money anxiety kicked in and then we'd get zero enrollments on Evergreen because all my thoughts had me marketing to the wrong people and saying the wrong things. And you know, getting people who weren't like even in a place where they were ready applying. And then I'd be like, well of course I can help anyone. I've helped people go from scratch to, you know, to getting their first client from their first client to making their first five figure month and on. Like I've done that all throughout the Web Designer Academy. So I'd invite people to apply who in hindsight, like there's no way they were coming up with $10,000 for the program and it's not that they weren't good enough or that they wouldn't be able to do it, it's just like they wouldn't be able to pay for the program.

Shannon Mattern: And so I spent a lot of time marketing to the wrong people and then we'd get zero enrollments and then I'd make some outlandish enrollment goal for the next live event to make up for it because I had to make all the money right now instead of getting 40, we'd get 15, which is what we really needed anyway. But I still felt like it wasn't enough. Thinking back on it, it's just like the money anxiety will grind your business to a halt because the thing is zero every month and 15 during a live event was the perfect amount. It was enough to cover all of our expenses until the next enrollment. But I was clouded by my money anxiety. Not only did I feel the urgency to make all the money now I was also operating with the belief system that if someone found me and couldn't work with me right now because enrollment was closed, they'd go find someone else and I'd lose them.

Shannon Mattern: And if that's not operating from a scarcity mindset, I don't know what it's, so after lots of reflection and consideration and examination of my thoughts and beliefs, and I'm still going to do more examination before I make the final final decision and talk to my team before I make the final final decision. But at this point we're testing out a wait list model where we only open up applications a few times a year. We'll share all of the info with our wait list only about our strategies program pricing. And then when we do open up applications, people are applying because they have already made the decision that they want to join. If we approve their application because we have already given them all of the information, they already know what they'll be doing. They are already know what the process is. They'll already know the price and how much to how much to get ready to pay when applications open.

Shannon Mattern: And so they'll have already made the decision that they want to join when they submit an application instead of submitting the application to get all of the information to find out if they wanna join and then decide later. Like I'm removing a step and I'm giving all of the information beforehand, which feels really, really good to me and I feel like is a better use of everyone's time. And I'm so excited about the wait list model. Our wait list is already growing really fast. I like quietly turned it on like turned it on. I quietly like shifted all the tech in the week between Christmas and New Year's this year to get the wait list set up and it's already growing really, really fast. And so that's so cool to see that you know, people are paying attention and it's filling up and all of that stuff.

Shannon Mattern: So I'm so excited about opening up applications in 2023. So if you want the chance to work with us and you want all the insider info about our strategies and all the program details so that you can plan and get ready to work with us the next time we open enrollment, just go to https://WebDesignerAcademy.com and add your name to the wait list. And I was just working yesterday morning on like the email sequence that's gonna be sent out to people when they join the wait list with like different strategies that we're gonna be sharing exclusively with the wait list that we teach inside the Web Designer Academy. And so I was like, I have like three of those emails done and I'm like, Shannon, just go ahead and start sending them Like you do not have to wait till all 40 of those emails are done to start this sequence.

Shannon Mattern: Like you can let the people that are on the wait list now start having those emails. And so I'm really excited for like all the content and the value that we're gonna be sharing with you guys just to get you ready to work with us. I want you to have plenty of time and space to make the decision. Like 10 days, it's enough time for some people, but it's not enough time for everyone. And I just wanna like really give you everything you need to get ready when we do open the doors. So we're testing that out in 2023. I'm not sure exactly what it's gonna look like yet, but people on the wait list will get all the details. So that is it for my 2022 year end review. We had a stellar year in terms of the results that our Web Designer Academy students created working with us.

Shannon Mattern: I'm so proud of the growth of our program, the retention of our students. Like we have people come back to work with us for a second year, for a third year, and not because they're like still struggling, it's because they have new goals and they want the support and they love the community. And so to see people re-enroll with us is just a testament to how supportive and transformational not only the program is, but the community. And it was truly an amazing year. And I said when I was applying to the coaching program that I'm in, because that was an application only program, I was like, I have so much hindsight now on the mind trash that was in my way in 2022 and I still had a a really good year. Imagine the impact we could create when I'm coming from a healthy place, and that's what I'm so excited for in 2023.

Shannon Mattern: And so on the podcast, we're continuing this. I love doing it. We're gonna be bringing you more client experience interviews from our current clients, which are so fun. I'm gonna be sharing more about like my transformation with the mind trash. I'm discovering things that we help our clients with, the mind trash that we help our clients with inside of our program. And I'm just, like I said, I'm so excited to notice and clean up my mind trash in 2023 because sometimes it's just like one thought. It can sometimes just be one thought that you need to change that unlocks everything. It's happened to me over and over again in my business. I've seen it happen with our students. And so I'm so excited to really explore that in 2023. And I hope that just by listening to this podcast, your thoughts about what's possible for you completely transforms and that you join us inside the Web Designer Academy. So go get on the wait list over https://webdesigneracademy.com and I'll see you back here on the podcast next week. Bye. Hey, so if you're ready to stop undercharging and overworking, if you wanna take back control of your time, work only with the dreamiest of clients and make more money as a web designer than you ever thought possible, get started now by going to https://webdesigneracademy.com and joining our wait list. We'll send you exclusive teachings from the current Web Designer Academy so you can start applying our concepts now. And you'll be first to know when enrollment opens up again, so that you can work with us to completely transform your web design business.

Speaker 2: This podcast is part of the sound advice FM network. Sound advice FM Women's Voices amplified.

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Hi, I'm Shannon!

I help ambitious women web designers reclaim their time, book profitable web design projects they love, and make more as a freelance web designer than they ever thought possible inside the Web Designer Academy.

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